That's right, today I hit the big 3-0. And to tell you the truth it's hard to believe. I mean where did the time go. I feel like it was just a few years ago that I was graduating high school with all my friends and we were heading our separate ways to make new friends and begin exciting new lives.
I may do a look back at the last 12 years in an upcoming post (and when I say may, that usually means it won't happen). But I can tell you that the last 6 years have been awesome and I'm looking forward to the next 6 or 12 or even 30 (although according to some of my close friends, I probably won't make it that far. After all 30 must be the new 90. Thanks Aliceson!! :-))
I started a new chapter in my life just over six years ago, and although it was a short chapter during the first 6 months I developed friendships that I believe can last a lifetime.
5.5 years ago I met the most amazing person, who I'm not lucky to call my wife. 3 months into that chapter, we were head over heels in love and I had a surgery called UPPP and a tonsillectomy to try and cure sleep apnea so I could ditch my really cool darth vader mask I'd been sleeping with. Along with my parents, who get a huge shoutout in my book of life for being the best possible: parents, role-models, friends (subtract a few ornery teenage years), therapist, cycling partner, business planners, and more. Anyway aside from my parents, Tara came up to winston every day and spent time with me, brought me food, adjusted my pillow if I needed it and did it all with a smile and genuine care. I knew then that if she would have me that she was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We dated for 2 years before getting engaged, were engaged for a year and have been married for just a few days over a year and 6 months. I could sum up this chapter with, Derek meets Tara and lives happily ever after. But then, my book would be really short, but who doesn't like a short story with a happy ending?
I also would be amiss not to mention that not only is Tara an awesome person to have in my life, that her family is incredibly awesome as well. I know everyone has heard of the "in-law horror stories", because I've heard my fair share of them, but I'm so thankful that I don't have any to tell. Tara's parents are as awesome as you can get. Marrying into a second great family is an added bonus, and they've always made me feel right at home.
In the time since we've been together we've done so much that it would be impossible to list but as an overview, here are some places we've traveled too:
Charlottesville VA, twice (half marathon & later UVA basketball game)
Orlando, Florida (Disney marathon)
Asheville (great that Jason, her brother lives there)
Hawaii - one amazing honeymoon
Concerts - there have been a ton of those: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, (see a theme), Rascal Flats, Taylor Swift, and a ton more
Weddings: We've had the pleasure of seeing so many great friends get married
There have been so many other funny, cool, etc moments to list them all. Fun new year's party's, fourth of Julys (some harrowing experiences along with one particular funniest moment of my life post 4th of July), Christmases, Birthdays, and more.
So the last 6 years have blown by in a whirlwind and as the coaster on my desk says: "Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed." I've been a notorious "planner" in the past, something that can sometimes lead you to always be looking ahead, but taking the time to enjoy everything as it happens is, to me anyway, what life is all about.
So, as I grow older, I believe that my birthday wish will be for another great year filled with family, friends, and fun memories. If that happens, then the rest of my book of life is sure to be a best seller!
(if anyone out there is reading this and wants to publish my memories, because you think it will make us both rich, just let me know, I can start today!)
So, that's a tornadic trip through my last 6 years. And now it's onward into the 30's.
I'm going to start by finishing this cup of coffee, and then since I'm off work until next year (woohoo!) I'm going to the gym. And, because I'm old and have things to do after that the post office, dry cleaner and bank. Then I'll spend some time with my amazing wife.
Have a great day!